One of the top commercial properties for sale in Fairfax County lies just outside Annandale: The 117-acre site being vacated by Exxon Mobil offers a huge opportunity to bring high-quality jobs and new tax revenue to the area.
“There has been a great deal of interest, from the public sector, private sector, institutions, and investors,” said Gerald Gordon, president and CEO of the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority (FCEDA). ”We don’t know how serious they are yet.”
“The possibilities are virtually endless,” Gordon said. “Exxon Mobil was a spectacular corporate citizen” that contributed to schools and organizations. “We’d like to get someone like that.”
Exxon Mobil, which moved its corporate headquarters to the Gallows Road site in 1980, announced in June 2012 plans to relocate to Houston. It’s not known how many of the 2,100 employees will choose to stay in Northern Virginia and seek other jobs or retire.
Exxon Mobil owns the property and will select the buyer. Whoever purchases it would have to operate within what the county wants to happen there. There are three options, Gordon said: the new owners could use the existing buildings, make changes to those buildings, or start over.
The property, rebranded as One Fairfax, “is perfectly suited for a large corporate or institutional user or federal agency,” said Paul Collins, vice chairman of Cassidy Turley, the real estate company hired by Exxon Mobil to market the property. “Opportunities to acquire a property of this caliber and scale in such a vibrant community are rare.”
Cassidy Turley is marketing the property to business prospects, investors and developers suggested by the FCEDA and its offices in Boston, Los Angeles, Bangalore, London, Munich, Seoul, and Tel Aviv.
The property includes four interconnected office buildings and an “amenities building” with a total of 1.2 million square feet. There are conference facilities, a fitness center, swimming pool, cafeteria, plaza dining, landscaped terraces, a 1.1-mile nature trail, and 2,588 parking spaces.
The entire site is zoned for commercial development, and an additional 550,000 square feet is available for future development. Exxon Mobil pays about $2.2 million a year in property taxes to the county. If a new owner develops more of the property, the tax revenues would increase.
According to Mike Wing in Providence Supervisor Linda Smyth’s office, a corporate headquarters, more office building, and a hotel would be allowed under the county’s comprehensive plan.
The property is “an island unto itself,” Wing said, as it’s hemmed in by Gallows Road, Route 50, and the beltway. There are only two access points. He said Smyth would like to see the wooded areas on the property preserved.
According to Gordon, the county might permit some trees to be removed if additional trees are planted on another location on the property.